Review: Still Life by A.M. Johnson

still lifeStill Life by A.M. Johnson
Series: Forever Still #1
Published by Self Published on April 15th 2015
Genres: Military, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 262
Source: Finished copy from author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Loss… a word Elizabeth Haddington knows only too well. Despite the tragedies she’s endured, she’s been able to rise from the adversity she’s faced and begin her life again. Being a self-assured and strong woman, she knows she doesn’t need anyone to make her whole.

Hate, pain, and twisted memories are all Sawyer Bryant’s ever known. He’d slowly lost who he was and what he should’ve become. His only escape was the military… Eight years later, as an ex-Navy SEAL, he’s forced to confront his father and their disturbed and violent past.

Then one day, his life is turned upside down, when he glimpses a woman singing in her car at a set of traffic lights. Thinking he’d never see her again, amazingly he finds her performing with her band at the local bar. This chance encounter brings these two lost souls together. Once Sawyer gets a taste of her melodic voice, there’s no turning back.

For Elizabeth, when she meets Sawyer… she realizes she’s fallen hard. But is this really love she’s feeling or does love build slowly over time?

What happens when fate turns things around on you, creates flashes you can’t turn from… moments that will shape your life?
They are faced with the choice of darkness surrounding them or to rid themselves of the guilt and pain and move toward the light.

This story is about life’s moments. How they can make you or break you, and one man’s hope that… Love, won’t judge him.

what i thoughtI received a finished copy in exchange for an honest review from the author. It does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My sister always pointed this out in the Harry Potter movies. if you look at the intros, you can tell how darker they go. Sorcerer’s Stone is light and happy, then by Deathly Hallows it’s dark and dreary and you know something major is going to happen… This is basically Still Life. It starts fairly light, then as the book progresses you learn about Sawyer and Elizabeth with their pasts and I can’t help but make that little connection. That’s the best way to describe the progression of this book.

Elizabeth knows all to well what loss means. It has completely stripped her bare. The only person keeping her standing up is her best friend and life line, Todd. Todd’s roommate, Sawyer is an ex-Navy SEAL and he’s fighting his own battles too.

While driving one day, Sawyer stops at a stop light to look over to see a girl singing her heart out. Never did he think he would ever see this girl again. It was an instant attraction between the 2, but as they get to know each other’s past, can they keep each other standing or will they tumble?

I’m completely blown away from this book. I knew it wasn’t a light read, but this book definitely took me by surprise. By the last 100 pages, I LITERALLY could not put the book down. I was completely immersed in this story and had to know what was going to happen next. The way A.M. Johnson writes, it’s just so memorizing, you can’t get enough. You never want to put the book down and you can’t get enough of her writing.

Sawyer and Elizabeth both have pasts that are not pretty at all. The strength that Elizabeth had was unbelievable. To have what happened to her and come out the person she is now is inspiring.

The epilogue destroyed what was left of my already shattered heart. I got teary eyed and cried multiple times while reading. Did I say how beautiful A.M. Johnson writes? I’m serious… You guys need to pick this book up! Then the 2 sequels that are out now. Seriously. SO. GOOD.

I can’t recommend this book enough!

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Review: Defenseless by Corinne Michaels

defenselessDefenseless by Corinne Michaels
Published by Self Published on January 19th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 322
Source: ARC copy from author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

My life is a secret.
His life is dangerous.
We’re both stubborn, calculating, and controlling.
Mark Dixon doesn’t know what he’s getting into. He doesn’t know his games could cost us our lives. I have to do what is necessary to keep us alive, and that means guarding my heart.
But I know I’m defenseless against him, and in the end, he’ll force me to surrender.

what i thoughtI received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review from the author. It does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

If any of you make me choose between Twilight, Muffin and Dreamboat, I might cry. Usually I have a favorite in a series, but I LITERALLY CANNOT pick, I love these 3 men so so much and all for very different reasons! Asking that kind of question is like trying to ask what my favorite book/music/movie is… I can’t ever pick.

I’m so glad this wasn’t a cliffhanger- if you’re familiar with Corinne’s previous 2 duets, you’ll know those have cliffhangers, this one does not. Like the previous 2, this is intertwined. This follows Mark and Charlie – both characters we meet in Consolation Duet. (Mark before in Belonging Duet). Even though I read backwards and read the Consolation Duet first, I have been absolutely beyond excited to read Mark’s story – he was HILARIOUS.

Because this is a standalone, I don’t want to give too much away by doing a synopsis. I think the one above can give you something. I do recommend reading the other 2 duets first since they will make an appearance in this one. Unless you don’t mind being spoiled (some things from both couples books get mentioned), by all means read this first. But you should meet Jackson and Liam first! Mark makes plenty of appearances! ;)

As I’ve already mentioned several times just in this review, I have been so excited for Mark’s story. When you meet him in the previous books he just never seemed the guy to want to settle down, until Defenseless. I can sit here and type why I love Mark so much… But then that would lead into talking about Jackson and Liam too. I can’t gush about these books enough!!!

Mark and Charlie are very alike and different at the same time. Charlie doesn’t make it easy for Mark; their banter was honestly probably my favorite thing. I just about highlighted every conversation. This is one of those where you start laughing out of nowhere — not in your head kind of laughter.

Romance, action, humor and suspense… What more could you want in a book?! :)

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(I actually lost all my highlights and notes and they aren’t appearing back… With that said I was only able to make 2 teasers. Down the road if they ever reappear or I come across more quotes, you’ll see them on @just2bibliomaniacs on Instagram.) :)photo (2)

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Review: Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros

full measuresFull Measures by Rebecca Yarros
Series: Flight & Glory #1
Published by Entangled- Embrace on February 10th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 374
Source: Finished copy from author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

A new adult novel from Entangled’s Embrace imprint…

Three knocks can change everything…

“She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead.”

Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart.

Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.

Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.

what i thoughtWow… This book took me completely by surprise. I was not expecting to love it this much and to this magnitude. Easily one of my top reads of the year! Josh Walker completely and totally owns my heart (but shares with other B.F.F.’s) ;)

December’s father is apart of the military and they haven’t heard from him in a while. That is until, they get the dreaded knock on the door to say that their father is not coming home. Stricken by grief, Ember’s mom has gone blank. She doesn’t speak, doesn’t move, doesn’t react at all. With their mother currently “out of the picture”, Ember moves back home to care for her siblings. Josh, who Ember has had a crush on for a long time, comes into the picture saving her from complete and total grief. But, this should be the job of her boyfriend, Riley… Josh and Ember start to get closer and closer the more they run into each other. Situations thrown at them that can’t be more than coincidental.

Let me quickly say that I LOVE the names chosen. December, April and August (Gus)… LOVED IT! Okay, let’s just say that everything about this book was perfection! I bawled my eyes in the ending and laughed at many parts. This book is a complete roller coaster complete with the 360’s, upside downs and everything in between. There is nothing bad to say about anything about the story or the author. I have completely fell in love with her writing, these characters and their story. I’m excited yet nervous to read the next two… I have fallen hard for Josh and I worry the other two won’t live up to that. But, I hear Grayson in the 3rd does for sure. ;)

HIGHLY recommended if you haven’t already read this!

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Review: Hell Without You by Ranae Rose

hell without youHell Without You by Ranae Rose
Series: N/A
Published by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on September 5th 2013
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Military, New Adult
Pages: 222
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Buy the Book / Goodreads

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. It does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Time changes everything, except what’s meant to be.

Seven years is a long time – long enough to transform Clementine from a small-town teenager with a broken heart into a woman ready to take on the world, but not long enough to make her forget about the man she was never supposed to see again. A temporary return to tiny Willow Heights thrusts her back into Donovan’s life and home, unearthing heartbreak and obsession that have stood the test of time.

He left seven years ago too, for war and other things Clementine can only imagine. Coming back to the town where he grew up in the shadow of poverty and drug addiction makes no sense, and neither do Clementine’s feelings for him. He could never forgive her for leaving, could he? Even if she had no choice.

Now, she has the freedom to choose … and so does he. Every day in Willow Heights makes it clearer: all he ever really wanted was her, and nothing will change that. Not even a taste of the hell that drove them apart in the first place.

Seven years ago, Clementine lived in a small town called Willow Heights. She was dating Donovan and neither of them speak to their parents. The only way they would communicate if they couldn’t find each other was by writing letters to each other and placing them in a brick at Clementine’s grandma’s house. Something happened to Clementine and Donovan and she was forced to choose– leave for college in another state and leave Donovan behind or stay and have him go to jail for what happened. She decided to leave for college. He went off to war in Afghanistan.

Seven years later, Clementine has finished college and had an internship in New York that made her in debt. She decided to move back to Willow Heights. Well, so has Donovan. Donovan also suffers from PTSD, and because of this almost every night he sleep walks. Clementine goes to visit her grandma’s house to revisit it. She then finds that a black truck has pulled up and a man steps out. She recognizes him and it happens to be Donovan. Donovan has never stop loving Clementine and Clementine had no idea. They are confronted with the past and something terrible happens.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this story. Although, the reason why I gave this a 4.5 Stars rating is because the beginning dragged on. It took until over half way for the story to really pick up. When it did, I really liked it. Another reason as to why I gave it this rating is because it was missing that piece to make me completely love the story.  I did however, have a really hard time putting the book down. I read a little over half of it in one day.

I thought Donovan was extremely hot. Well, at least how Clementine was explaining him. :)

Clementine’s past and how Donovan was involved, was mind-opening. After everything that has happened to these 2, I’m really happy that something really great come from it. I found myself literally smiling when I finished the book.

I really didn’t like Clementine’s parents at all. They were very rude and didn’t like Donovan for something he didn’t necessarily do.

Favorite Quotes:

“I’ve survived the last seven years without you watching over me after dark. Figure I’ll make it through another night.”

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“I don’t want a life without you. Fuck staying away from Willow Heights if it means never seeing you again. I… it was hell without you.”

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“The kind of love that waits for seven years without changing is the kind of love that makes you stupid, sometimes.”